Thursday, 22 February 2018

Les Petites Fenetres du Skulker!

Wednesday 21st February

Dave's tanks coming ashore ready to head for the local scrapyard.
Les petites fenetres.
 Colin Jack was planning our premier gameshow outing which was to involve a game that he has had in the planning for a wee while.Mainly The Suez Crisis of 1956 where the British and French invaded North Egypt in order to make Egyptian president Nassar give up his plan to nationalise the Suez canal.Fat chance but they went ahead with it on the pretext of stopping the war between Egypt and Israel.Scottish double positive springs to mind -Aye Right!
Lull before the storm

"Anyone wanting to buy a tank?"

The invaders gather.

The French view

Downtown Port Said
                                      Colin had pondered for a while thinking how he could play it and came up with the idea of having the British and French on either side of the canal racing each other to see who could reach their objective first.Four of us headed out to a frosty Garvald in order to try out the game before we take it to Albanich,the Dumfries Wargame show on March 10th.Colin umpired whilst we divvied up the forces.We were hoping to get two games in which we did in order to iron out some of the gameplay.This we did with a few differences of opinion especially when it came to climbing out very small windows.
"Wanna buy a vase?"

Faithful defenders

French Firepower.

The defenders dig in.

Ditto(en Francais)
                              In the first game Bill Gilchrist and I took the part of the defending Egyptians whilst Chief Skulker Donald Adamson(and he skulked)takig the part of Les Francais and Dave O'Brien took the part of the plucky Brits.The defenders were on a hiding to nothing being used as hindrances and cannon fodder for the Imperialists.

Tank to the front.

Allez France!

More of Donald's skulkers

His tank cagely making its way forward.
                                 The invaders were equipped with a tank,couple of infantry squads and support each against our tank and not enough plucky defenders each.

Scratch one centurion.
The battle commenced with Donald skulking down the dockside literally going door to door whilst Dave in his usual gung -ho self moved his men up rather sharply avoiding hinderances eager to get to grip with the down trodden Egyptians which played into Bill's hands as after a while getting his tank into firing position took an erstwhile shot at Dave's behemoth coming down the dockside and lo and behold destroyed it.This took the smile of Dave's face and made him come out with the comment of Colin's Centurion lasting about as long as a chocolate fireguard again.

My bazooka team hoping the French can't see them passing by Les Petites Fenetres.

How many Frenchman does it take to kick a door in?
                                      Donald's forces were a bit more cagey.Being typical French his infantry were slowly making its way through each building and when my valiant militia showed their hand he rushed in like the typical bully and scattered them.His tank meanwhile slowly made its way along the dockside not wishing to follow the same fate as his copain across the water.This gave my tank an opportunity to engage Donald's Amx 13 tank but to no avail as the combination of its gunfire and mortar fire sent my tank to the local scrapyard.I returned fire with my bazooka team but this just drew the fire of everybody else.
My tank perculating well.

Hoping for revenge-a forlorn hope.

Dave's Vickers blasting away.

Donald's skulkers about to be vaped.

A close up of Frenchmen about to head for les collines(the hills)

Urban renewal in Port Said
                                     Donald went super confident and moved up one of his squads right into my remaining squad's field of fire.Even rookies couldn't miss at that range et voila! no more squad.
One very p'd of woman.

Dave's paras achieve their objective.
                                       Across the other side Dave was still charging forward thinking that he may have lost his tank British grit would win the day and he whittled down Bill's defenders with his mortar supported by a Vickers machine gun.His mortar struck lucky on Bill's tank putting him in the queue behind me for the scrapyard.My remaining squad went for broke and charged the other French squad but had left it too late to save the day.The objectives had been made by the Imperialistic Zionist supporting invaders and the first game was over making us champing at the bit for the second game which wasn't long in coming and was too prove rather explosive as the choice between game rules and reality was brought into question.
Round Two

My French on their starting blocks.

Breaking and entering.

Knock knock(en Francais0

                                           After a quick refreshment break the side were swapped over and I took up over command of Les Paras hoping to put an end to this petulant decision of this despotic Egyptian dictator.It's amazing how ones outlook on life can change ever so quickly.the Brits came under the charge of Bill and we were looking forward to an easy solution of this colonial outburst.
                                                My intention was to quickly come to grips with what I thought was going to be a very easy opposition but was brought right back down to earth with some dubious decisions and the fact I didn't know there was such a thing as Egyptian Pygmy soldiers.My plan went well as I reached the first buildings without any problems doing textbook entries of buildings and bringing my tank right up to give me covering fire and also draw fire away from my infantry                              Across the other side of the canal Bill was being a bit more cagey having learnt from Dave's costly venture into the sights of the opposition tank and his infantry were following my lead of going from building to building.One of the differences of opinion was about firing across to the other side of the canal and after some debate it was thought that targets on your own side would be given priority.
                          My lads were sticking to the plan clearing out the first of Donald's two infantry groups at the same time keeping the tank on my side amused.This is were my plan of drawing fire was to come into place and true to form both tanks and Donald's bazooka team were kept occupied scratching the paint of my tank albeit disabling it in the process.Ah what the heck it could still fire its gun.
Donald's sneaky tank.

Bill's Centurion dispatches it

But not before my tank draws fire from all sides.

Heh heh!
                    The evening then took a turn when after my men rushed passed a building with the smallest windows in the whole of Egypt only to be informed that due to the vagaries of the Bolt Action rules Donald's could stream out of these minute windows and dutifully stab my lads in the back.I never even thought of charging into the building as I surmised that due to the fact that the said windows would be struggling to have a cat emerge from them that the same would be for Donald's infantry.Foul cried the skulker as it says in the rules that a window is a window regardless of its size and lets him push 12 grown men through the smallest window you'll ever see.
Bill's figures head for their objective with hardly any casualties.

Victoire pour les Francais1
                                   My difference of opinion was laid to waste as reality had been literally thrown out the window.I would have taken a swing for Donald but I couldn't find a chair to stand on.
Bill entering his objective after severely rearranging the paintwork.

The after scene.
                                           I just had to say "F**k It"and get on with the job in hand which was reaching my objective before Bill who was making his way down the other side with barely a scratch taking out all Dave's resistance in his stride ending up with laying siege to his objective hitting it with good old British firepower.My forces finally ended up with my disabled tank and two mortar squads one who sprinted into the French objective right at the end.
                                      A great first outing for the game that will be the  Gothenburg Gamers first gameshow outing.
                                      All scenery,figures and scenario were provided by Colin Jack who also provided us with a delicious repast before kick off.
                                         This Sunday sees the first get together of the Gothenburg Gamers with some invited friends for a Back of Beyond spectacular so see you back here next week for our game report.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Ambrose Adamson Ventures out.

                       Wednesday 7th February
We ventured out this evening to a rather snowy Bellesquarry to re-enact one of the smaller encounters early on in the American Civil War-The battle of New Berne which was part of Ambrose Burnside's adventures which were part of General Winfield Scott's plan to closing blockade running ports on the Outer Bank.Burnside's forces consisted of New England forces backed up by the North Atlantic blockading squadron.
A beauty but just there for show.
We arrived to find the table all set up and the presence of a nifty Union monitor just passing the time of day.That was going to be a game changer if used but playing  the naive  southern gentlemen we had to wait to find out what part it was going to play.
Our naval guns awaiting the non arrival of the Union navy

whilst Johhnie Reb comes marching home.
The sides were divvied up and I was paired  up with that true gentleman of the south Mr Ray Neil and we were opposed by Donald Adamson playing the part of Ambrose Burnside sans sideburns and a tad more grey hair.His subordinates were in the form of Colin Jack and Bill Miller
The Union supreme commander showing a bit more daydreaming than elan

whereas the Confederate commander shows off the new line of headwear  40 years before its creation.
The battle went practically the same way as the original with a mass attack by the Union against fortified positions albeit defended by understrength militia.
Colin's cannon fodder making their way forward

Bill's lads coming into range of my guns.
The game kicked off with Colin and Bill's forces heading for our defended walls with Donald doing his usual skulking at the back using the excuse of waiting for Colin's forces moving up in order to bring his forces on.All us gallant Confederates could do was wait for the Union to get up close and personal meanwhile using our depleted artillery for some sniping.
Donald's zouaves coming on ever so slowly.

"Colin the plan is for you to go forward,get shot too pieces and I'll come up and steal the glory"
     Colin's forces true to historical form headed for the centre of the wall hoping to engage the gun crews in hand to hand combat which after a few turns succeeded in doing.Bill's infantry advanced towards my defenders but I had the luxury of a river helping in my defence.This proved an initial godsend but as the game went on proved a hinderance to myself as I couldn't maneuver my cavalry to come to our defence.
Onwards and upwards.
With Colin's lads nearing the walls Donald had the opportunity to bring his army on with Zouaves to the fore hoping to steal the glory on the back of Colin's misfortunes.Bill's army were moving forward slowly under the cover of his artillery who were expanding their ammunition as though it was going out of fashion.Meanwhile Colin's artillery had become the evening's first casualties of the evening giving the beleaguered defenders some false hope.Still no sign of the Union navy though which meant our naval batteries couldn't be used against the land forces.
Bill's infantry wondering if they can walk on water.
Colin's infantry finally made a breakthrough against the central artillery battery causing a gap that we couldn't plug due to the inability due to the rules of the game.The fact that our cavalry were next to useless had nothing to do with it.
Union forces about to break through.

My cavalry ready to plug the gap-wishful thinking!
Donald took advantage of this dilemma to move his forces through the gap in the defences at the point were the railway crossed the wall and because his lads were all infantry could maneuver better round the river, came pouring through the gap basically meaning the end of the struggle.Although Ray moved infantry over the wall to take Colin's forces in the flank and due to some good shooting my lads pushed Bill's forces back the sacrifice of Colin's forces meant that Ambrose Adamson's lads took the day and the glory.Skulking at its best.
Dismounted cavalry trying to plug gap

First line of cavalry  head for hills leaving 2nd line to face the onslaught.
A great game using the Bonnie Blue Flag rules which were simple to use albeit with a too basic shooting rule meaning you could only shoot at targets straight in front of you rather than a 45' either side.Ces't La Vie.
The big gap.

Figure came from the collections of Bill Gilchrist,Donald 'Ambrose'Adamson and our favourite rock star Mr Ray Neal.
Also many thanks to Bill for providing a nice meal before proceedings as our usual hostess Helena was still recovering from a minor operation on her finger.All the best for a speedy recovery.
See You All When I See you.